Thanksgiving is a traditional American holiday that dates all the way back to the days before the country of America was founded. Thanksgiving in the US will take place on November 24th, 2022.
In 1957, the Canadian Parliament declared Thanksgiving to fall on the second Monday in October, which is Columbus Day in the United States.
In the year 1620, the Pilgrims arrived. They were utterly unprepared and facing harsh circumstances. In the first year, about half of them passed away. After that, they harvested corn successfully.
They made the decision to have a feast of thankfulness in November of 1621. Thanksgiving feasts have been observed in the United States for generations. Proclamations have been made by some presidents. Abraham Lincoln declared that Thanksgiving will always be a federal holiday.
What Is Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is a day that is specifically reserved for spending time with one’s family, and it is considered to be an important holiday in the United States. Although it was first celebrated in the United States, the holiday has taken on a significant meaning in a number of other countries.
The significance of the holiday known as Thanksgiving is not hard to fathom. The expression “giving thanks,” which means expressing gratitude or appreciation to someone or something for doing something good, is where the term originates.
Other countries besides the United States and Mexico that celebrate Thanksgiving are Canada, Liberia, and Saint Lucia. As a result of the fact that the holiday is celebrated in the United States on every fourth Thursday of November, there is no specific date that has been designated for the holiday.
The same is true for Canada, where there is no officially recognised date for the holiday’s celebration, despite the fact that it is always observed on the second Monday of October.
The History of Thanksgiving
Evidence suggests that in the late 1500s, Spanish explorers and colonists celebrated Thanksgiving in what are now Florida and New Mexico. As early as 1607, Thanksgiving celebrations were also held in what would become the Commonwealth of Virginia, with Jamestown, the region’s first permanent settlement, hosting one in 1610.
The Plymouth settlers, sometimes known as the Pilgrims, didn’t reach the New World until ten years later. Following their first harvest in 1621, they had a three-day celebration at Plymouth. All 50 Mayflower passengers, out of the 100 who had landed, were present, together with 90 Native Americans.
The four adult Pilgrim women who had survived their first winter in the New World, along with small daughters and various servants, prepared the feast. Every year during the war, the Continental Congress designated one or more thanksgiving holidays, urging the governors of the several states to observe them as well.
As a victory celebration recognising the American forces’ triumph over the British at Saratoga, George Washington, the leader of the revolution, declared a Thanksgiving holiday in December 1777. In 1863, President Lincoln established November 26 as National Thanksgiving Day, the last Thursday of the month.
William H. Seward, the secretary of state, drafted the proclamation, which stated: “Peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere but the theatre of military conflict in the midst of a civil war of unprecedented magnitude and severity. At times, it has seemed to foreign States that we are inviting and provocation their aggression.”
“Therefore, I do invite my fellow citizens throughout the United States, as well as those at sea and those who are sojourning abroad, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in the Heavens,” the proclamation reads.
Since that time, the US has celebrated Thanksgiving. Future presidents adopted Lincoln’s practise of designating the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving every year. The fourth Thursday of November, rather than the fifth, was designated as Thanksgiving by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939.
FDR reasoned that by moving up Thanksgiving, businesses would have more time to sell items before Christmas, which would aid in the recovery of the nation from the Great Depression. Fourth Thursday is a government holiday as per a law passed in 1942.
A number of “national days of prayer, humiliation, and thankfulness” were declared by the Continental-Confederation Congress, the body that ruled the United States from 1774 to 1789. The National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving, which are now widely observed in America, are the result of this at some point.
Congressman from New Jersey Elias Boudinot recommended in 1789 that the House and Senate petition President Washington to declare a day of thanksgiving for “the many manifest favours of Almighty God.” The first Thanksgiving Day was subsequently established by Washington as a federal holiday.
The passage said, in part, “Now therefore I do suggest and dedicate Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of thee States to the service of that great and magnificent Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.” For many years, the holiday would fluctuate.
The first president of the United States, George Washington, declared a day of thanksgiving every fourth Thursday in November in 1989. From its beginnings as a harvest festival, the United States observed the day until Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it a government holiday in 1863, during the American Civil War.
It was to be observed on the final Thursday of every October. When the Americans got their quick harvest in the so-called New World in October 1621, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated long before it was officially recognised. The majority of Americans view this day as a chance to gather with friends and family and thank God for all of their blessings.
More importantly, believers credit God for orchestrating these favours. Most Americans observe the day, regardless of their views on religion. Thanksgiving in America is easing into the holiday season with Christmas shopping and discounts.
Thanksgiving has become rather commercialised. Black Friday and later Cyber Monday usher in the holiday shopping season as they continue into the weeks preceding Thanksgiving. Football may be a big part of many family traditions, whether they choose the one that best suits their size and demography by watching the Thanksgiving Day parade followed by the game.
Every meal is substantial and includes turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and other side dishes. Although it is no longer based on a religious festival, this feast does still bring family and friends together and can be compared to both Christmas and Easter.
Why Is It Celebrated With Turkey?
Turkey from Hamilton Thanksgiving turkey consumption existed in the US before Abraham Lincoln declared the occasion a national holiday in 1863. No “Citizen of the United States should refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day,” said founding father Alexander Hamilton in the 19th century.
A roast turkey was highlighted in Hale’s accounts, which later served as the template for the celebrations, according to some. Others think the reason the birds were chosen was because they can feed a lot of people and aren’t used for egg-laying or milk production.
Thanksgiving dinner in the US is served with more than 50 million turkeys annually. Excuse the custom. Thanksgiving turkey gifts have been given to US presidents since at least 1947. Usually, people ate these turkeys.
The first turkey was “pardoned” by Ronald Reagan in 1987. Beginning in 1989, George H.W. Bush’s successor turned the pardoning ceremony into a custom at the White House.
Importance Of Thanksgiving
We may possibly be observing both the requirement of offering gratitude and its eclipse when we think of God as the “to whom” we are grateful. Gratitude is becoming less valued in culture as it moves more and further away from a religious state.
So naively, we believe that we accomplished this on our own. We have such a misguided notion that we are entitled to everything, or even that we deserve it. If we tug on the thread for a long enough period of time, we can also tell what is at the end of it.
We are aware that a Creator will be revealed to us. Knowing that a Creator will hold us responsible. We are dependent, not independent, when we say “thank you.”
We would rather show ungraciousness. According to Paul, despite the fact that God has left behind ample evidence of Himself, we do not choose to “respect him or offer him thanks” (Rom 1:21). Following that, things start to go wrong. Ingratitude-based cultures continue to deteriorate at an accelerating rate.
We should not be included in the group of people who just consider the fourth Thursday in November to be a day for excessive eating and watching football.
The fact that there is a day set aside for us to take stock of everything we have and acknowledge that it was all given to us is something for which we should be grateful. Obviously, one day out of 365 should not be the only time we are grateful.
The Meaning of Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day is primarily a time for gatherings with family and friends. But naturally, a lot of people appreciate it because it’s just food, football games, floats, and parades. The underlying reason for the holiday and its significance, however, can be found in its brief past.
Usually, people are thankful to God for a fortunate year, a fruitful harvest, and a chance to catch up with loved ones over delicious meals that show their affection. However, over time, a distinct region of the world has given its own significance to the day. As a result, a celebration and day filled with love result from all the customs.
- It stands for unity and is a time for forgiveness and forgetting all the bad things that happened. Families and friends gather to commemorate the past year and ring in the fall.
- The culture’s lineage is passed down through the tales you hear from your parents and grandparents to your offspring. The customs around eating protect culture, foster ties, and evoke many memories.
- Praise the Lord! Thanksgiving is a day of thanksgiving when you give God the credit for a bumper crop. On this day, people should forgive, given to those in need, and cherish their connections. The definition of gratitude in the Bible included devotion, a sacrifice, praise, or an offering.
The modern Thanksgiving
Today’s Thanksgiving is not as revered by religious people as it formerly was. At least historically, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, though it appears to be beginning earlier and earlier each year. Thanksgiving was scheduled to fall in 1939 during the Great Depression on November 30, which would have left only 24 days before Christmas.
The holiday was then pushed up a week to give people more opportunity to shop as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s initiative to boost the economy. Critics referred to it as “Franksgiving,” therefore it did not go down well. In 1941, Congress decided that the date would always fall on the fourth Thursday of November after some debate.
Nowadays, Thanksgiving is associated with spending time with family, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and football. It’s one of the few occasions when we can unwind, eat an excessive amount of turkey (and feel guilty about it for weeks), and then pass out on the couch while watching football.
Every year, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, a well-liked holiday. It is mostly connected with the United States, where it takes place on the fourth Thursday in November, is a significant part of the culture there, and marks the start of the holiday season, which also encompasses Christmas and New Year’s.
Thanksgiving was first observed as a harvest holiday, but it is now more often observed as a day to express gratitude for favours received. Although Thanksgiving Day is most often associated with the United States, it is also observed in Canada on the second Monday of October.
In the meanwhile, comparable holidays are celebrated in a single Dutch city, as well as in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Thanksgiving is celebrated for its significance to American culture around the world and is prominently featured in several well-known US television series, including The Simpsons and Friends.